Monthly Archives: February 2012

The Importance of Blogging

Online blogs have turned to be a known in both personal and professional uses.

At the start of my winter term, one of our assignments was to complete 14 blogs in the span of 10 weeks.  I thought to myself, where do I even start?  I havent been the type to write or even read blogs.  Over the last 7 weeks, I have grown accustom to the idea of blogging.  I am not sure how many people out there is the online world actually read what I write, but it feels nice to be able to sit down and create something from nothing.

I came across this online blog called GROW; Marketing, Social Media, Humanity explaining that your personal blog might actually help you get a job.  It is recommend in almost any career.  The article explains 7 different reasons why people should have a blog.

1. Show what you’re made of.   During any interview, telling can be more difficult.  With a blog, you can visually show an employer what you are explaining to them.

2. Build a professional network. Online blogging allows people to build connections in an online community. It allows you to network with people and gain followers.

3. Engaging versus advertising.  “No matter how creative you get, a resume is still an advertisement.”  This point made by the author.  I see this to be a true fact.  A blog can allow employers to read stories that may be compelling to your career field and gain further interest.

4. Point of differentiation. Employers want to see you standout in the spotlight.  Show them what you can do by being able to create content.

5. Sharpen your professional skills.  Know your subject and know what you what to say.  Define your message!

6. Expand your reach. Your blog is your personal brand.  Building yourself as a brand and allowing people the ability to communicate with you is a huge success.  LinkedIn is a great social media tool because it allows you the ability to present you.

7. Extend the interview. “Here is the last thing you say to your interviewer: “I’ve enjoyed our time together but there is so much more I could tell you about my abilities. I hope you’ll take a look at my blog (the web address is on my resume) so you can see for yourself the way I think about things.”  And you know what? They’ll do it.  You have just extended your interview by another 15-30 minutes and that may make all the difference!” the author makes this point clear and simple.  I couldn’t of said it better myself.

This is just another reason why social media is useful in the professional world.  A blog builds your personal PR as a brand and a person.  Define your message.  Define what you can do. Define what you are.

An Urban Oasis Unveiled!

The day has finally arrived.  The newest hotel to be built in the last 30 years opened February of 2012.  The Inn at the 5th is a luxury boutique hotel and features a level of service and style rare to the city, with design elements that include sound proofing against the nearby railroad, butler closets, lack of check-in lines and themed decor showcasing Eugene’s character.

The lack of lines allows hotel guests to be greeted at their cars.  From there, hotel staff check them into their rooms using an iPad and valet park their vehicle.  The process is to provide top level service without having to stand in long lines or carry your bags up the stairs to your suite.  Each room is designed to be different.  Some rooms either have a balcony over looking the the Eugene Skyline or a windowbench seat to relax on overlooking the market district.

One of the major noise complaints for some of other local hotels is the loud sounds of train at all hours of the day and night.  The Inn was designed to be 100% sound proof in the walls and windows.  Problem solved!

Throughout the course of this 14 million dollar project, many people within Eugene and from all around were anxiously waiting to see what the end result was.  Besides the ongoing construction process and setbacks, the hotel’s success relied on the marketing and PR.

The Inn at the 5th uses social media to help with the promoting and creating of the buzz for the hotel.  Facebook showcases construction updates with photos of the progress and the different tours provide to local citizens of Eugene.  Local news stations, The Register Guard, Portland Business Journal, VIA Magazine and even The Oregonian in Portland, OR provided news and the clear message of how special this boutique hotel is. TV airtime with 30 second spots are displayed during primetime on local channels as well.

The final product is scheduled to have a week long grand opening celebration.  Invitations to local businesses and organizations have been sent out.  The celebration will include entertainment, food and tours of the completed product.  The Inn at the 5th is just the beginning for projects occurring in downtown Eugene. It’s an investment that will create more investment, in the market, in services around the hotel, creating yet one more reason for folks to spend time downtown.

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5 Social Media Tips for Professional Athletes

5 Social Media Tips for Professional Athletes. If you are in the spotlight, a positive PR image can change instantly with the online social media community. I came across this blog about Sports PR. Check it out!

Using QR Codes To Grow Your Business

QR codes are becoming more popular in the marketing and public relations fields.  QR codes were first designed for manufacturing inventory purposes, but lately have become useful in targeting the general publics.  According to the article, How Can QR Codes Build Your Business, written by Jeff Korhan, explains what QR Codes are and how useful they can be to grown your business.  If you’re not yet familiar with QR codes, they are defined by Korhan as, “QR codes are similar to the barcodes used by retailers to track inventory and price products at the point of sale. Though, the key difference between the two is the amount of data they can hold or share.”

The process of using a QR Code is simple.  You scan or read a QR code using either your iPhone, Android or other camera-enabled Smartphone.  You can download one of many free apps that are available in your smartphone app store. One you download the app, the process is simple.  Simply scan the QR code and it will bring you to a website displaying information.

Any of these desired functions are easily achieved by properly creating your QR code.  It’s a simple process of entering the appropriate data into the QR code generator it a matter of minuties.

There are 7 things to know about QR Codes….

1. Learning what it is

2. Understanding who is doing it

3. How it works

4. Why is it significant

5. The downsides

6. Where its going

7. What are the implications

QR codes are an essential part of building a community.  According to the author, “Sharing is how you build community, and one of the favorite arenas for doing this is Facebook.  You can use many different generators to create a QR code that links your mobile device to a fully functioning LIKE button for your Facebook page.”  This help brings the public to your fan page of your business or group. Thus, building a brand awareness.  The world of Public Relations is drastically changing as the increase and popularity of digital media changes.

Where Can you use QR Codes? The possibilities are endless in my opinion. Some places you have probably seen them is…

Business Cards

Brochures

Signs

T-Shirts

Merchandising

Receipts/Ticket Stubs

The author explains that you have to make the experience fun for someone to want to take part in scanning.  I would agree from experience.   From the article, the final question is “How you can you maximize your effectiveness with QR codes?”

  • Provide explanations about their use and benefits
  • Encourage actions that support your marketing plan
  • Assuage the fears of the technically challenged
  • Give reasons to come back
  • Experiment with the size, location, and color of your QR codes
  • Study your analytics
  • Make the process fun, such as a QR code scavenger hunt
  • Experiment

QR codes can store quite complex information in a small matrix. As awareness grows about how useful they are, we can expect to see them in more public venues and used in many PR and marketing tools.

The Affair of the Heart

Last Thursday, February 9th, 2012 was the 7th Annual Affair of the Heart held at the Lane County Events Center.  This a free event for all of Lane County to partake in.  All major companies and businesses flocked the hall at 10am that day.  Countless hours of preparation and setup to build a huge event took more than just word of mouth; it was all the PR that was received to make this day a success.  Each business created displays with signage, brochures, handouts, and free samples of products/prize giveaways.

The 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. event targets a woman based demographic.  Of course, men are welcome to come, but the businesses focuses an evening packed with health tips, fashion flair, giveaways, entertainment and flavorful food and drink to celebrate women’s health and well-being.

Last year, organizers say, the event drew more than 8,000 attendees — and attendance was expected to exceed with the increase of social media awareness.  Facebook and Twitter were the two major social media platforms used, as well as advertising and marketing on the radio, newspapers, and websites.

A new tactic that many businesses took part in was having people scan QR codes with their smartphones.  The goal of the QR code is to target a specific demographic of people. These individuals, who are willing to scan to learn more about your organization and purpose, are typically ones that show in interest in what you have to say.  QR codes allow people to interact with an organization by connecting people with online content.  This is very useful PR tool for businesses.

As an intern at the Fifth Street Public Market, this event was an essential process for reaching out to potential customers.  The goal was building our marketing and

brand awareness to the public.  The mission was to emphasize how truly unique the center is by branding the local aspect of it.  The displays showcase how remarkable each store is by showing their products, offering specials, and allowing people to scan with a chance to win one of 15 prizes simply by entering their name and email address.

The night was a success for all.  I decided to roam around the event center to see how other businesses showcased their booths. Many had extravagant displays, brochures, prizes, but only some used QR codes.  The popularity with QR codes from last year and this year have grown. It only a matter of time before more and more businesses take advantage of this free PR tool.

Journalism and Social Media Marketing

Journalism has seen many changes over the last few years. Many reporters and editors have shifted course with their journalism careers by focusing towards public relations.  The public relations field has grown into a massive field with the use of social media marketing through web 2.0 platforms like Facebook and Twitter.  The content displayed can be displayed by millions everyday (potentially) if it is achieved successfully.

From the article, “Jumping from journalist to a social media marketer,” the author Kevin Allen explains the 5 things that we should know about social media marketing.

1. There are similarities

A journalist and a social media marketer need to know their online communities.  This is crucial.  The goal is to understand who your audience is, what they want, and the reasons why they want it.  The is important for PR success.

2. The differences

According to Allen, “The biggest difference I’ve found between working in a newsroom and in the agency world is the latter’s general atmosphere of growth and positive outlook.”  Allen explains that times in the journalism field are changing and many newspaper have had to stretch their resources by firing people or offer buyouts.  People cannot be creative under the looming threat of losing their job.

Many journalists have turned to social media with hopes to adapting to the current changes that they are facing.  Journalists who move to social media have to learn how to write in a “brands voice.”

3. It’s easy

Writing from social media can be easy.  you do not have to worry about the structure or transitions. “You want to be pithy, witty—get in, get out, and let your audience do the talking for you.” (Allen)

You want your lines to be simple and easy.  You will not capture your readers if your content is too long.  This is the concept of Twitter.  Promote and put out information with 140 characters or less.  Short, clean and easy to read.

4. It’s difficult

The author explains that to reach the point where you’re actually driving fan and follower engagement beyond the superficial is nothing you can actually pick up from reading an article or a book.

That is how PR will fill the gap.  The goal of building brands is to create the social atmosphere that people want.  The goal in the space is to have people chatter about the brand and tell people all about it.  If a social aspect doesn’t exist, people will not make the time to talk about your brand essence online.

5. There will be elephants

Allen explains that “People, including my boss, ask whether I miss being a journalist.” “It’s the proverbial elephant in the room. Anyone who has pursued a journalism career gets it.”  But the overall success is the ability to grow and shape something with the emerging and evolving method of communication.

 

It’s All About The Love

Yesterday was a big day for the Fifth Street Public Market.  Not only was it the Superbowl, but also a very beneficial and loving event called Love At First Sight that was at the Curious K9 Boutique and Salon.  Love At First Sight is a new event hosted by Curious K9 and all the proceeds benefit the Greenhill Humane Society in Eugene, Oregon.

This is a great affair for all the canines out there, who want to join in with all the Valentines Day love that is in the air.  Even owners consider their pets as a Valentine and what isn’t better than getting photographed with them?  The cost is only $15 and $20 for the ones that need a quick nail trimming prior to their photo session.

This type of occasion really builds a strong business reputation for Curious K9 and for the Greenhill Humane Society.  These two great organize really can demonstrate their missions and objectives with the positive PR they receive by the public eye.

This event brings the entire dog lovers in the community together to really showcase how important the overall mission is for Greenhill and that donations are needed for their overall success of being able to treat, heal and find loving homes for all their animals.

Fifth Street Public Market incorporated this event into their overall “Feel The Love” campaign.  The first two weeks of this month focuses in on the heart with Love At First Sight; pet valentine photos.  The second occasion is Love At First Bite; an event for dinner seeking lovebirds.  The final one is Love is in the Cards; a special gift card that is great for any occasion.

The PR used in this entire campaign was shown in the use of social media, e-blast marketing and the use of large signage throughout the entire center.  The use of social media was an essential tool because it is the front door and allows people to enter into the market and stay connected with all the events.

Multiple posts on Fifth Street, Curious K9 and Greenhill are shown on their Facebook pages, linking one another and really emphasizing how great this event is for the entire community.

Just another reason how powerful the world of social media and Public Relations are for small, medium and large organizations with a mission and goal for a positive outcome. Social media gives people a sense of a community online and builds the true market connection to the community.

Optimize Your Social Media

Social media has become a major tool not only for communicating with a vast array of people, but now has turned into a major marketing and PR tool for many organizations.  But the question many organizations and their employees are asking is, how do you optimize and create a social media schedule that fits and connects to your target audience you are trying to reach?

The most important aspect to remember is making sure to create and execute a strategy.  According to author, Ashley Zeckman of the article Optimize Your Social Media Schedule: 4 Tips for Avoiding the Social Media Time Suck, “73% of marketers say finding the time to create content as their biggest marketing challenge. “

Social Media has evolved to allow people to focus in on what information they want to receive. But the major question is determining what are the better times to post to Twitter and Facebook to gain the most support by followers.  According to the article, the author explains that

  • 5pm in the evening is the best time to tweet and gain re-tweets.
  • Mid Week and weekends are the best days to tweet with consideration to noon and 6pm to gain high click through rates.

Now if we switch our direction towards Facebook, the best day to share is Saturday noon is the most effect time to reach the greatest amount of people with your posts.

There is many great easy to use tools online that can help you manage multiple social media accounts and allow you to schedule multiple posts to update at the specified times.  Hootsuite and Tweetdeck are the two most popular management tools at the moment, but more do exist.  I currently like Hootsuite because of the ability to schedule posts for Twitterand Facebook.  On the other side, Tweetdeck makes it visually easier for myself to create multiple lists and follow each one.

The success of social media is focusing in what and how you want to accomplish the purpose for your organization and providing enough time to manage it.  The author of this article, Ashley Zeckman asks the readers to consider these 4 tasks for better focus on social media.

  • What are your top 3 social media goals and do you have a plan for reaching them?
  • How much time can you dedicate each day to using tactics to reach these goals?
  • What steps can you take to improve your focus while completing social media activities?
  • Which type of tool: curation, aggregator, or social bookmarking can you use to help save time?

Consider these tips and tool to achieve your overall goal and purpose in the online social media world.

 

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